The Rooster Man of Gondor

Author: Chelsea Nolan

Nominator: Dwimordene

2005 Award Category: Books/Time: The Lord of The Rings: Gondor - Third Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: G  ✧  Reason for Rating: none

Summary: An unusual perspective on the siege of Gondor.

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Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 10

I remember seeing this pop up as a recommendation in my e-mail, and I thought at first that it was some sort of joke. But it turned out to be a story filling a gap I'd never noticed existed, and forever more, the cock that crowed and signaled the beginning of the end of the siege of Minas Tirith will be associated with this fic. Among its many virtues is the fact that here is a tale of the mad in Middle-earth. You know there must have been people who suffered from various forms of mostly harmless psychoses (as opposed to Black Breath induced ailments), but we don't see them in Tolkien's writing. The Rooster Man, who's really rather cast adrift in this fic and left to scratch among the deserted streets when everyone else evacuates is a rather forlorn, pitiable character for a time. But just because he's mad doesn't mean he's totally without comprehension, and he ends up finding a unique place in Minas Tirith's embattled forces. I remember reading somewhere that in some of the most extreme situations (concentration camps, alas), those who normally would've been considered mad and unable to cope with society suddenly found themselves in a sense in their element, able to function as no one else could. It's at once horrible and wonderful—right on that edge where you don't know quite what to say. As a mascot who keeps hope alive with a bravery that's childlike in its total disregard for self-preservation, the Rooster Man becomes emblematic of the elemental truth of Gandalf's words: even at the worst of times, the Rooster Man flourishes, and so he falls within Gandalf's realms as one of those who will bear fruit and flower, as it were, thwarting the Enemy's ultimate triumph. In all, a great story. Bravo, Chelsea, for such a memorable character.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: 4

Great story! There's definitely humor here, but underlying that, there's a more somber tone as well. I like the balance between the two, and I really like the defiance of this Rooster Man. He was very well defined in the story, and so were the guards who kept pulling him down. Their dual exasperation and admiration were easily shared by the reader. Definitely a different perspective on events, and a very welcome one, too.

Reviewed by: Aliana  ✧  Score: 3

The Rooster Man might be the most "original" original character I have ever encountered in fanfic. A highly novel perspective on the Siege and the battle of the Pelennor, and a deft account of dogged heroism in the most unlikely places. I loved the humor, the courage, and the strangeness of it all.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 2

A very strange and original story. Was that really a cock's crow heard before the Rohirrim arrived? Very thought provoking.